Ventracor Limited (Ventracor), a cardiovascular devices company, said that had been placed into voluntary administration. Despite outstanding success with its clinical trials of the VentrAssist Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and an exhaustive effort on the part of the company and its US and Australian financial advisers to seek investors, the company has not been able to attract sufficient capital to fund its operations through to 30 June 2009.
The company has approached over 130 potential investors in Australia, US and Europe over a period of more than a year. In addition, a share purchase plan offer was made to shareholders, but did not attract sufficient capital.
In its 11 December 2008 announcement, the company sought expressions of interest from parties wishing to acquire the company or take a strategic stake, and over 50 organizations were approached. On 27 February 2009 the company reported that discussions were continuing with two parties but that any potential transaction structure would require short term funding in the form of a private placement or bridging facility.
A non-binding proposal has been received recently for an asset purchase. However, as that proposal does not contemplate short term funding, the Board has decided to place the company in voluntary administration and consequently it will be open to the administrator to consider this proposal. Following the 6 February 2009 Voluntary Field Safety Alert on the model LVA4, the company is working with regulatory authorities on changes to the model LVA4 labelling and some design elements to allow the LVA4 to be reintroduced to the world market. The company is optimistic that the corrective action plan developed will adequately address the issues identified, and secure the necessary regulatory approvals. The VentrAssist LVAD model LVA3 continues to be implanted worldwide and modest sales continue.
The VentrAssist LVAD has been implanted in over 420 patients worldwide. It has secured CE Mark approval for sale in Europe and those countries that recognise that regulatory regime. It has also secured TGA approval for sale in Australia.
The VentrAssist LVAD is the first third generation pump, and the first centrifugal pump to have concluded a US Bridge to Transplant Clinical Trial, with 78.6% success to the protocol defined end point, and 85% patient survival at six months. There are more patients implanted with the VentrAssist third generation centrifugal LVAD than all other centrifugal pumps from all other manufacturers, combined.
The chairman of the board, John Ward, said “The Board shares with shareholders a deep sense of sadness and regret that Ventracor has been placed into voluntary administration. In the midst of an unprecedented and ever worsening global financial crisis the company has not been able to raise sufficient funds to maintain its operations through to 30 June 2009. Intensive efforts have been taken over a lengthy period by the Board and management to obtain capital including equity, convertible note, debt, and a share purchase plan offer has been put before shareholders. Expressions of interest have been sought from parties wishing to acquire the company, take a strategic stake, merge with the company or put forward any other structure of benefit to the company.